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Setting Goals with the SMART Method

Control Questions for Concrete and Realistic Goals

Jedes Projekt, jede Kampagne und jede einzelne Maßnahme sollte immer mit einer konkreten Zieldefinition beginnen. Je spezifischer das Ziel beschrieben wird, desto zielgerichteter kann vorgegangen, analysiert und kontrolliert werden und desto wahrscheinlicher ist der Erfolg der initiierten Maßnahmen.

Ein Tool um Ziele präzise zu definieren ist die SMART Methode. Sie hilft mittels strukturierter Vorgehensweise und Kontrollfragen, das zu erreichende Endergebnis möglichst präzise zu formulieren. Dabei steht SMART für  für Specific (spezifisch) Measurable (messbar) Achievable (erreichbar) Relevant (relevant) und Timely (terminiert). Jedes gesetzte Ziel muss diesen Kriterien gerecht werden, dabei spielt es keine Rolle, ob es sich um ein übergeordnetes Projektziel oder um das Ziel einer operativen Maßnahme handelt.

The SMART Criteria

Specific


The aim here is to describe the “what” as clearly as possible. Goals should be formulated specifically and above all action-oriented. There must be no doubt about what needs to be checked in order to measure the achievement of the objectives.

Measurable


It should always be possible to measure the objective set on the basis of quantitative or qualitative criteria. For this purpose, measurement criteria, measuring instruments and the exact initial and target values must be determined.

Achievable


A goal in the sense of SMART must be attainable. Here it must be examined whether the goal can be achieved within the defined time frame with the existing or planned abilities, resources and competences.

Relevant


In this point it is about the relevance and purpose of the set goal in the overall context. Why is it important that this goal is achieved? How does the achievement of the project, campaign or company goals pay off?

Timely


A “smart” goal should have both a fixed start and end time, so that a fixed time frame for achieving the goal is given.

The SMART Method as a Compass for achieving Goals

A target definition using SMART creates transparency and defines the path to be followed and all important criteria for monitoring success. Thus the SMART method helps to have an exact picture of the desired result in front of your eyes and serves as a kind of compass on the way to reaching the goal.

SMART in practice

The following example illustrates the application of the method in practice.

As the marketing manager of an online shop, the main goal is to get the most qualified traffic possible to the shop site in order to increase conversions (orders). To achieve this goal, a number of subgoals are defined. One of these subordinate goals, increasing organic visibility, is described below.

Specific

Increase the number of keywords ranked in the top 10 and thus on Google’s first search results page by 20% over the next 7 months. The goal is to be achieved with various onpage measures.

Measurable

With the help of Sistrix (SEO-Tool) this value can be checked continuously. The current value is 1,192 keywords, so the target value is 1,644 keywords in the top 10.

Achievable

In the last 3 months, this figure increased by 5% without targeted onpage measures. Due to the planned resources for optimization, it is realistic to achieve an increase of 15% in 7 months.

Relevant

The keyword profile of Sistrix provides information about the visibility and relevance of your own domain. By increasing the keywords in the top 10 results of Google, not only the visibility but also the qualified traffic of the site and in all probability also the conversions are increased.

Timely

The goal is to be achieved within the next seven months. So due date is March 30th. The onpage measures introduced (content optimization and improvement of the technical basis) make this goal feasible within the specified period.

The same procedure for defining objectives must now also be followed for the sub-goals of the operational measures (improvement of the technical basis & optimisation of content). At first glance, this approach may seem a little tedious, but it ensures more efficient implementation and problem-free measurement of target achievement.